When hosting guests at home, Cherie Mercer Twohy was often asked where she found certain intriguing ingredients, whether it was a bit of exotic cheese or a certain kind of olive. She realized that more often than not, her answer was “Trader Joe’s.”
The answer always came as a bit of an embarrassment to Twohy, who thought at the time that the answer belied her expertise. (For the record, she’s one of a mere 300 people in the world to be able to claim the title of Certified Culinary Professional.)
It was while hosting workshops at her Chez Cherie cooking school that the author and culinary expert really learned the full extent of Trader Joe’s appeal. Her classes featuring Trader Joe’s products quickly became insanely popular, standing-room only events.
Her culinary expertise and the popular grocery store ingredients culminate in The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook, a slick paperback filled with recipes that are refreshingly usable, andTwohy’s instructions are crystal clear. Prepare the sticky notes: you’ll find dozens of recipes you’ll not just think about making, but that you’ll actually undertake.
Recipes like the whiskey-tinged Hot Toddy Chicken, Cherry Crostini with Pecorino Romano, and the Sausage Salad for a Hot Summer Night will have you planning dinner party menus in your head months in advance, and you won’t have to wonder where to buy the ingredients –every single component can be purchased at Trader Joe’s.
The cookbook is an inspiring way to use those products you may be unsure of, and a separate index listed by product name lets you know exactly what to do with your purchases. A jar of lemon curd? Try the Better-Than-Tiramisu. Have a spare Trader Joe’s Fat Tire Beer in the fridge? You have the beginning of a Fat Tire Flammade.
Even the dinner party-challenged will find plenty to cook, and some of the creations seem custom made for devouring while you watch a movie in your comfiest pants (Thanksgiving in a Bowl has “night in” written all over it. The Pumpkin Cranberry Cake sounds indulgent enough on its own, but add the topping —Butter-Mascarpone Slather— and you have a dessert that’s downright hard to share with others.
Rounding out the cookbook are Twohy’s helpful hints, which she handily adds to recipes when needed (“The feta and olives are salty,” she says in a salad recipe, “So season accordingly.” But she also has tips for shopping at Trader Joe’s, including advice on stocking up on those soon-to-be-discontinued items.
Those who already love Trader Joe’s may not need yet another reason to shop at their favorite market. With The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook, though, they now have the inspiration they need to magically turn those bags of groceries into inventive dishes.
The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook on Amazon
Trader Joe’s website
Find your local Trader Joe’s
Chez Cherie cooking classes
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